California Governor Jerry Brown (D) recently signed a bill (A.B. 504) extending the prohibition of spawning, incubating or cultivating of genetically engineered (GE) salmon in the Pacific Ocean to all state waters. Hatchery production and stocking of transgenic fish is also prohibited. The legislation was sponsored by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), who asserts that the specter of “frankenfish” escaping into California waters “could destroy our native salmonid populations through interbreeding, competition for food and the introduction of parasites and disease.”

The new law also restricts medical or scientific research to that performed by “accredited California academic institutions or private entities for research only and not for commercial production,” provided such activities are conducted in closed systems that reduce the “risk of escape of transgenic finfish species and any potential disease they may transmit.” See Press Release of Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro, September 29, 2014.